Jason P. D’Avolio, who is accused of killing his wife, maintained his innocence in his first appearance in County Court this morning. A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf in the death of Kerrilee D’Avolio.
Family and friends of Kerrilee D’Avolio filled the front row in the courtroom this morning. They wore bright green T-shirts to honor Kerrilee.
D’Avolio, 47, of 820 Belmont St., was arraigned before Judge Michael L. Dwyer on one count each of second-degree murder and concealment of a human corpse.
Authorities said D’Avolio shot Kerrilee in the back of the head with a bolt action rifle at their Belmont Street home, and then he put her body in a dumpster and threw the rifle in the Barge Canal.
According to his defense
attorney, D’Avolio says he had nothing to do with Kerrilee’s death.
“It’s a shock to Jason. He’s maintained his innocence from the beginning, and he continues to do so,” said Leland D.
McCormac III, chief trial counsel for the county Public Defender’s Office.
Police have said in the past that D’Avolio claimed Kerrilee committed suicide and shot herself. When asked about this claim, McCormac said, “He’s denied any participation in the death itself.”
A plea offer was extended by the District Attorney’s Office. D’Avolio is scheduled to return on Oct. 2 to accept or reject the offer.
Assistant District Attorney Joshua Bauer is prosecuting.
Authorities said sometime overnight between July 28 and 29, D’Avolio shot Kerrilee, age 32, in the back of the head with
a Remington bolt action rifle.
Authorities said D’Avolio then wrapped her body in a sheet and placed her in a dumpster.
Authorities said D’Avolio threw the rifle in the Barge Canal and took the couple’s three young children to his brother’s business in the Chadwicks area, where he told his brother about what happened.
The brother called 9-1-1 and D’Avolio was taken into custody. According to prosecutors, D’Avolio made several verbal statements to police and investigators after he was taken into custody.
Law enforcement fished the rifle out of the canal, and search dogs eventually found Kerrilee’s body at the county landfill in Ava.
Authorities said the couple was in the early stages of a divorce, which may have prompted the attack. Police said D’Avolio had only owned the rifle for a short time before the shooting.